Today I tried to move at a slower pace to give students more think time and to allow time for welcoming everyone back. We set up our binders, completed a warm up & a pretest over the next 6 weeks content. Most students don’t really try on the pretests but I think it does act as a valuable resource as the semester continues & many students use it as a study guide for future quizzes. I also think it is valuable for students to see and track their growth. I need to figure out how to communicate the value of these tests better to students so that they really put forth their best effort.
For some reason, I am much less concerned about the first day this school year. Maybe its because i’m more confident in my teaching. Maybe its because I know I just need to get students working and listen to them to learn who they are and what they need before I plan too much. Maybe I just a little burned out. regardless, on the first day with kids (Monday) I get 1 hour with my puma period (homeroom) and 15 minutes with each of my other classes. So I’m going to do the spaghetti tower with my Puma period so that I can get to know this group and get them thinking & team building. For the other classes, 15 minutes is hard…too long & too short. I considered doing 4 4’s but I want to force students to talk to each other. I’m going with Dan Meyer’s personality coordinates, this way I can make them think a little, talk to each other & maybe do a “ticket out” to see what questions they have for me. I plan to and write them responses so that they feel welcomed in my class. Since the max class size is 15, this shouldn’t take too long. I also finished making curriculum maps and my pathetic attempt at my 1st unit UbD’s for both Geometry & Consumer Math. This weekend I need to plan the first part of their INB’s.